How can business leaders deliver new growth?
David Conway, lead partner for Deloitte Digital, outlines the steps involved in making this transformation effectively
Deloitte research has found that organisations that focused on human experience are twice as likely to outperform their peers. Photograph: Shutterstock
During the pandemic a large number of business invested aggressively in online channels and digitisation to survive. Many have shown remarkable resilience in responding to an extremely challenging socio-economic environment. Some of these measures have been tactical and will prove short lived. However, others offer longer term potential that could provide the basis for an enduring period of productivity. As businesses emerge from the pandemic a number of questions present. Foremost amongst them is, how can they help return their business to sustainable growth and what do they need to do to achieve this?
At the heart of this question lies the source of growth – the customer.
During the pandemic customer behaviour changed at a pace not seen since World War II. Established daily rituals literally stopped overnight and consumer spending patterns altered dramatically. Even though the human challenge was universal, how people responded to it varied significantly. Different groups showed markedly different responses to economic shock, restriction to personal liberty, societal responsibility and government advice. Notably these different groups also showed markedly different expectations of business in how products and services were offered, accessed and regulated. Some put a premium on household brands and rigorous health procedures. Others pivoted to locally sourced sustainable produce and the community economy. Whilst others became hyper-globalised online shoppers. In a moment of great stress we all fled to what we trust.
As we now emerge from the pandemic, customer behaviours will shift again. However, the early indicators are that the premium we have come to place on trust will stay for some time. Moreover, a large body of research conducted by Deloitte Digital is showing that the companies that understand the drivers behind this trust, how to measure it and most importantly how to build it are clearly winning in generating customer loyalty and driving growth. We call this elevating the human experience.
Through research we found that organisations that focused on human experience are twice as likely to outperform their peers in terms of revenue growth and have 17 times faster store growth than those who do not. Similar studies have also shown that rudimentary functional digitisation can be strongly correlated with customer churn.
Build customer trust
Delivering an elevated human experience requires organisations to deliver products and services that are:
- Experienced and understood in way that feels inherently human and evokes an emotional response
- Proactive, personalised and focused on their human needs and context
- Authentic and stay true to their promises through world-class execution.
Delivering on all of these sets a high bar that challenges organisations to step beyond their traditional silos of marketing, IT, product and distribution so that they can connect ideas, technology and talent in new and transformative ways.
So how do you meet this challenge in months instead of years?
Make the right technology choices
Most organisations have a rich variety of applications and technologies that make up their technology estate. Hybrid cloud, best of breed customer experience solutions, market-leading ERP and a trusted legacy core. All the right parts from all the right vendors but often unconnected, fragmented, unwieldy and painfully slow to deliver change.
Connectivity, agility and scalability is what is required to succeed. Accelerating your journey to a fully cloud based ecosystem architecture is clearly the answer to unlocking scalability and a rich tool set of easy to assemble features. However, the choices of vendors are near infinite and the potential to compound existing complexity lies around every turn.
Clarity on four main strategies is critical:
- Choose new cloud based platforms that can easily deliver your future state customer journeys instead of preferring solutions on the basis of tight coupling with established legacy technology and functional domains.
- Design and implement an API first integration strategy so that you can start to unlock deeper functionality within your supply chain and enable greater ecosystem interoperability, whilst decoupling your experience layer from legacy limitations across your estate.
- Implement customer and product Master Data Management systems that enable full 360 maintenance and real time accessibility of your data across the estate.
- Progressively consolidate and upgrade your core architecture with a focus on delivering consistent globalised processes oriented around customer and product value streams.
Whether you choose to achieve this through innovation from greenfield or by hollowing out your legacy core, these critical strategies essentially remain the same. The first strategy will enable you to release a minimum viable product, engage new customers and kick start you on your growth journey. Incremental releases and progressive adoption of the remaining strategies can enable you to extend the depth and reach of your growth transformation.
Mobilise your talent
To sustain this growth you need to unlock the potential of the talent in your organisation to continually imagine, deliver and run these new human experiences day in day out. Solving for this will require you to adjust two main aspects of your business; decision making and organisation, through adopting agile ways of working.
Delivery of authentic human experiences requires a multi-disciplinary team working closely together with a sole focus on this outcome
Data-driven decision making is the backbone of any successful adoption of agile. The more informed people are by data at all stages of value delivery cycle, from product inception through to its optimisation in life, results in measurably quicker time to market and improved delivery efficiency. Moreover, establishing real time customer data analytics of products opens up significant opportunities through AI, personalisation and automation to further drive up customer engagement, trust and loyalty on a continuous basis.
Delivery of authentic human experiences requires a multi-disciplinary team working closely together with a sole focus on this outcome. This will draw on skills from across the business and demands cross functional alignment around that single customer value stream. Adjusting your organisation to a customer value stream operating model will dramatically reduce cross team dependencies, increase collaboration and enable focus on product innovation.
Growth through transformation
Delivering new growth requires the whole business to embrace deep transformational change. We know that businesses that focus on elevating the human experience and respond in a more human way, will build customer trust which can directly translate to the bottom line. Achieving world class delivery by deploying and connecting the right cloud technology platforms and mobilising your talent with agile ways of working are the two critical enablers to realising and sustaining this growth.
For more information visit www.deloitte.ie/makeithappen